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True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

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True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

Post  BJWanlund on 1/11/2014, 4:59 pm

Hi! I'm BJ!

I first heard about the SFG method last year after listening to Mike McGrath's "You Bet Your Garden" radio program on which Mel was interviewed about his new SFG books.  I then was reading a Kindle rental book about companion planting (as I am looking to start my first-time-ever garden this year) and they talked about this SFG method as a companion planting method of sorts.  So I got that Kindle book (The All-New Square Foot Gardening), and I instantly *got* what the method was instantly because it is practical, flexible, efficient, and sustainable (that last one's a biggie with me).

However, I'm beginning to get a tad confused. I'm a true beginner, and kinda don't know from whence I should start.  Especially when it comes to going in and buying the supplies for such, because I am rather new at this whole gardening thing.

I really like salads, and definitely like cucumbers, tomatoes, and the like (more for summer dishes like gazpacho than anything else). I also would like to start an asparagus bed (although that may have to be separate from the remainder of what I grow by design), and eventually (definitely NOT this year) I'd like to branch out from veggies into fruits like blueberries and the like (and maybe even some dwarf fruit trees).  If it helps with regard to last frost date, I'm in zone 6A.

Hope I'll be happily gardening with the rest of you very soon!

--BJ
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Re: True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

Post  yolos on 1/11/2014, 6:30 pm

BJWanlund wrote:Hi! I'm BJ!


I really like salads, and definitely like cucumbers, tomatoes, and the like (more for summer dishes like gazpacho than anything else).
--BJ

Welcome BJ.  Gazpacho is my favorite food of all time.  In my area (just south of Atlanta) the lettuce bolts before the cucumbers and tomatoes are ready to eat.  I am going to have to find a way to keep my lettuce growing longer or my tomatoes and cucs ripening sooner.  But you don't have to worry about the gazpacho because in my experience, the tomatoes and cucs ripen at the same time.
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Re: True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

Post  malefacter on 1/11/2014, 7:00 pm

start by making a 4x4 box out of 2x6 wood find a place with lots of sun place it there fill with soil and plant. id build a 2x2 box for your asperigus plants for the blueberry, amazon has a e book about growing them just about anywhere wish i red it before i ordered it may not get cold enough for one of the verities i orderd
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Re: True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

Post  sanderson on 1/11/2014, 8:52 pm

BJ,  Welcome to the Forum!   glad you\'re here 

!.  Determine what you want to grow.  Done.

2.  Chose the sunniest location.  (send us photos of your area and progress.  You should get lots of feed back even at this slow time of the year)

3.  Build boxes of 2" x 4" studs, double layer, ending with a 7" high box - 6" for Mel's Mix, 1" for mulch.  Look at residential construction areas for free scrap wood.  But ask permission first!

4.  Locate 5 different types (or sources) of compost, vermiculte and compressed peat moss.  Read and re-read what is meant by 5 different sources of compost.  Then read once more before you buy.  Let us know what you have found before you buy.  Make one of the sources composted herbivore manure.  Read labels on compost bags to get an idea of how much "forest product" and peat moss they contain.  You may have to reduce the fluffed peat moss to, say, 1/4 the volume, if there is too much peat moss in the composts.

5.  Get a tarp.  Mix the sources of compost and set aside.  Fluff the peat moss.  Mix 1/3 mixed compost, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 FLUFFED peat most.  Measure volume, not weight.

6.  Fill the boxes now and let rest until planting time, which will be here before you know it..

7.  If growing from seed, determine the last frost date and count 6 weeks backward to start them inside.

8.  Ask questions if you can't find the answers from the Search box.
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sanderson

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Re: True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

Post  camprn on 1/11/2014, 9:19 pm

glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum! We discuss many aspects of gardening, but of particular interest is the Square Foot Gardening method outlined by Mel Bartholomew in his 2006 book All new Square Foot Gardening. This Forum is actually an extension of the SFG Foundation. Check out the link on the main page. Please browse through the forum for a lot of information. There are some highlights on the homepage on the left side, under the hover button but all the basics can be found in Mel's book.

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

Post  malefacter on 1/12/2014, 5:22 pm

blueberries in your backyard is the name of the book, i really liked it.,
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Re: True beginner from Southwestern Virginia (near Radford), zone 6A

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